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Incubating Love

by Nancy Bragg

Divine Love is working in this group as we journey toward spiritual wholeness. We hold each other in love, in a space where we can practice being authentic, feeling and overcoming our fears, acknowledging and healing our wounds, and maturing spiritually. Love opens our hearts. We are building a spiritual foundation for a loving world.

We are seeds of love held within a Zoom milkweed pod, each of us is in an embryonic state incubating self-love as we spiritually mature together. Within this brave pod space, we practice loving ourselves and expanding that love to each other. The floss attached to each of our seeds expands and becomes fluff as the love we feel expands. We keep expanding with new growth and new life until we burst open the pod and our fluff parachutes disperse us in the wind to various locations beyond this space, embracing wider circles of love.

As we come out of our beloved community pod and fully engage in our lives, we have the capacity to be wise like foxes. We can keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open. Like foxes, we have finely-tuned senses that let us interpret the world before responding. We can use our heightened foxy sense of awareness and intuition to be alert and discerning. We can listen to our hearts along with our bodies and minds. We can focus our loving attention on what’s important to us.

As we embody and champion our essential value of love, our love becomes a powerful, positive, and hopeful force in the face of fear, despair, anger, and division. When we are energized by love, we are united at a deep level. Our loving relationships of mutual respect and gentle care give us strength, as we disperse in the wind to “be love” in whatever is ours “to do” in the world.

by Bob Boisture, President & CEO of The Fetzer Institute

Living from fear and living from love are very different things.

Fear closes our hearts. Love opens them. Fear despairs. Love hopes. Fear shouts. Love listens. Fear has to be right. Love is willing to be wrong. Fear thinks the other side must lose for our side to win. Love knows we win together.

Love helps overcome fear

There is the only one impulse of the human heart powerful enough to overcome the fear that is destroying us. That impulse is love.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you. That was wonderful. Yet another metaphor. Let’s not forget the monarch butterflies that light on the milkweeds and then fly off again.

  • I want to thank you. That was like a steady stream of love and truth and it’s so reflected what we’ve experienced together. It reminds us that love is there, that it is the power. Thank you.

  • Thank you. That was really, really nice. This incubation period that we are going through is a different sort of school than most of us have been in. You gave a whole new way of looking at people when we hear you’re a fox. Turning foxy-looking into foxy awareness. Last night, watching the news, and seeing the women taking action at the Senate building and joining arms. I was proud that they were singing and bringing a whole different state of being into the building and walls. Sharing the experience of what it is like to be a minority. Love prevails. Fear is never hope-giving. Love is full of hope. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much. I adore the milkweed pod metaphor. This morning, I had to meditate while I drove but I felt so connected to the group because I knew everyone was meditating together. I’ve struggled to get milkweed growing in my yard and I saw yesterday, my efforts have paid off. As for your metaphor, we flow on our spirit and the spirit that connects us to all that is different because of having these morning times together. The pod and how fluffy it is and how it floats is an incredible metaphor. A line that jumped out for me is fear shouts and love listens. We are a deeply listening group. Thank you for your reflection.

  • That was beautiful and very inspiring and clear. I found for myself in my reflection that the word love is used so much, and the whole concept of speaking from love can get blurred very easily for me. So part of the reflection was on the process of really transmitting that and recognizing that in this group, it happens in a genuine and consistent way. I inhale it more. And it becomes a part of me. I see moments after the group meeting where I am impacted by that place. And then I can see it fall apart. I don’t know what happens. I then started reflecting on what happened to it part and the process of it. But really being struck by when it’s there in quantity and how that effortlessly buoys me as a person. I loved your reading. Thank you.

  • I was struck with how delicate the little fluff and seeds appear. But if you’ve ever gotten a milkweed plant in your yard, you will soon have an army of them marching across the lawn. So there’s a real persistence and strength in spite of the delicate appearance. Thank you.

  • The image that came to me was of a dandelion in its fluffy state. As a child, I would blow them out like a candle into the air. I have an image of different parts of me going out into the Universe and the air wondering where they are going to settle. And different parts of all of us going out and where are we going to settle. Dandelions.

  • Thank you. I love any kind of metaphor that shows a connection with nature and the outside world. It’s wonderful. I wrote a poem that illustrates the same idea of fear and love. The poem is based on stonewalls. To stonewall someone is a negative thing, to shut them down. But it has many positive connotations. The stonewall is actually a home to many critters. It’s completely permeable: things are going through the wall, things are being protected by it, things are being born in the wall. It’s interesting you can take the word either way, when you feel the wall and its permeability and connected to the outer world. It’s not a perimeter anymore but like a membrane that connects one to the woods.

  • I love walking in deep woods and in the middle of big trees, I come across a stonewall. And to realize that hundreds of years ago, some tough people cleared all those trees and farmed there. I feel a kinship with them. Stonewalls are amazing. I love when there is lichen on them.

  • Thank you so much. I love thinking about the contrast between love and fear. The line that stuck out to me was fear thinks the other side must lose, and love knows we win together. It’s a powerful way to look at life and make a choice: is life about winning and losing or is it about cooperating? This world would be better if there was more cooperation and more focus on love. I did my small part today by meditating on love using my biofeedback device. The instructions for using it say to focus on love, fill your heart with love, breathe it, think it, feel it, experience it. That’s what I did during the meditation. It’s a peaceful place to be when I’m in it. Thank you for the reminder about the opposites. Sometimes we think hate is the opposite of love, but it really is fear. It’s a goal to stay out of fear every day. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you everyone for joining us today in this journey in our milkweed pod. I love the metaphor. I hope you all have a wonderful, gentle, blessed day thinking about sending those milkweed fluffs into the world and bringing the love into your heart. Thank you.

Photo credit: Fox collage by Nancy Bragg

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